Singapore

Selfless Covid-19 front-liners recognised for dedication

Covid-19 front-liners, who worked long hours and often went beyond the call of duty to keep Singaporeans safe amid the pandemic, have collectively been named The Straits Times' Singaporean of the Year 2020.

This year, the recognition goes not to an individual but to all the selfless workers and volunteers in healthcare, security and other areas who stepped forward in the past year.

"Amid the challenging Covid-19 environment, many have stepped up to help others in greater need, from migrant workers to the underprivileged to Covid-19 patients. The eight finalists... exemplify this same selfless spirit we are celebrating today," said President Halimah Yacob at the award ceremony at the Istana yesterday.

Madam Halimah said that the pandemic has changed Singaporeans in many ways, whether it has been getting into the habit of wearing masks daily or showing more compassion and kindness to those around them.

"The response of Singaporeans, particularly to the needy and less privileged, has been heartwarming. With this pandemic of disease, there is also the pandemic of kindness, generosity and compassion," she said.

The winners were picked by a judging panel of 13 and through online voting by the public. The winners received $50,000 in cash, sponsored by award presenter UBS, and a trophy. The other finalists received $5,000.

Mr Warren Fernandez, editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings' English/Malay/Tamil Media Group and editor of The Straits Times, was one of the judges. He said: "There were so many who played a part - doctors, nurses, epidemiologists and scientists, contact tracers and swabbers, volunteers and retired healthcare workers who came forward to help tackle the situation in the dormitories - all pitching in to help see Singapore through."

FOR MORE, READ THE STRAITS TIMES

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